Whanganui Literary Festival 2017

Date: Sun. 8 Oct, 2017 10:00 am
Panel discussion: Poetry and Place                                     
 
10.00 – 11.00am
Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street
 
A well-known Whanganui proverb centres on the statement “Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au / I am the river and the river is me”. Connections to, or relationships with, landscapes of various kinds feature in the work of many writers. Fiona Farrell and Selina Tusitala Marsh join local writers Christodolous Moisa and Terry Sarten in a panel discussion of the significance of place in their work. To what extent does place define who we are as writers? What are the different relationships a writer may have with a particular place, or with the notion of place? Chaired by local poet Airini Beautrais.

 
Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 
 
 
My Father’s Island – Writing Memory                           
 
11.30am – 12.30pm

Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street
 
Award-winning journalist Adam Dudding’s first book, My Father’s Island, is a memoir about his father, the New Zealand literary editor Robin Dudding. The Dudding family of Robin, Lois and their six children lived a bohemian existence surrounded by piles of books and numerous chickens. Reviewer Nicholas Reid describes the memoir as “an extraordinarily candid, sad, funny, exhilarating and chastening story”. Steve Braunias writes “No one has ever had a family quite like the Dudding family but everyone can relate to the book’s portrayal of parents and children trying to get along in a Kiwi landscape of school, beach and vegetable garden”. My Father’s Island won Best First Book of General Non-Fiction at the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Adam will talk about his work with Cass Alexander.

 
Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 
 
 
Love, Ghosts and Making It                                                        
 
1.30 – 2.30pm

Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street
 
Fiction writer and comic artist Sarah Laing is a previous winner of the Sunday Star-Times short story competition, the author of the collection Coming Up Roses, and two novels, Dead People’s Music and The Fall of Light. She is also known for her often humorous, often moving cartoons depicting family life, motherhood and a range of political issues. Her latest book Mansfield and Me is a daring graphic memoir charting her development as a writer alongside a very personal account of the life of one of her literary heroes, Katherine Mansfield.

Sarah will appear in conversation with Carla Donson of the Whanganui Women’s Network to discuss inspiring women, the juggling acts involved in being a creative parent, and the intersections of personal and political.

 
Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 
 
 
High Tea and Etiquette: Elbows off the Table, Please         
 
2.45 – 3.45pm

Venue: Pioneer Room, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street
 
One of New Zealand’s favourite chefs, Jo Seagar has always looked outside the square, and with her latest book she has combined cooking with table manners. Until the Canterbury earthquakes intervened, she combined cooking with teaching when she opened her café and cooking school in rural Canterbury. She also takes culinary tours overseas and even has her own cooking school in Italy.  Jo’s ten cookery books have sold in their thousands and her television shows and magazine columns have appealed to many. The title of her latest book will remind many readers of their parents’ warnings at the dining table: “Elbows off”. But don’t worry, this is no stuffy afternoon tea. Dress in your Sunday best and be prepared for some high jinks at a high tea hosted by Jo.

Decorate and wear a High Tea hat – Gentlemen included.

 
Numbers limited - Bookings essential
Admission: $30

“Fifteen Years To Be An Overnight Success”                       10.00 – 11.00am

 

Seventy years a theatregoer; 50 years a writer; 40 years a playwright, New Zealand theatre icon Roger Hall’s first stage play, Glide Time, was produced in 1976. He has been writing a play almost every year since then, along with musicals and pantomimes. Recent plays include Who Wants to be a Hundred (Anyone Who’s 99); Four Flat Whites in Italy; A Short Cut to Happiness; and You Can Always Hand Them Back. He has been awarded a QSO, a CNZM and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Victoria University. He was the first playwright to receive the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement.

Roger will tell the little-known story of his early beginnings in New Zealand and provide plenty of laughs along the way.

 

Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street

Bookings: Royal Wanganui Opera House

Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 

 

Writing, Music and Memoir                                              11.30am – 12.30pm

 

Nick Bollinger was introduced to Beethoven, Gilbert & Sullivan and the Fireside Book of Folk Songs as a preschooler. His life changed at the age of five, when he heard the Beatles' recording of 'Twist and Shout'. Nick went on to become a bass player, a member of many bands, a writer, critic and broadcaster. He has been a music columnist for The Listener and presents The Sampler on RNZ National. He is the author of How To Listen To Pop Music, 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, and Goneville, which won the Adam Prize for Creative Writing in 2015. Goneville is both a coming-of-age story and an exploration of New Zealand music in the 1970s. Nick will appear in conversation with Rik Jones.

Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street

Bookings: Royal Wanganui Opera House

Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 

 

A Poem for the Queen                                                                   1.30 – 2.30pm

 

Selina Tusitala Marsh writes of her work: “The wondrous thing about a poem is that it’s an ‘ala’ – the proto-Polynesian word for ‘path’. As a ‘Tusitala’ my poems are paths between cultures and world views”. The acclaimed, ‘Fast –Talking PI’ poet and scholar performs a selection of her work and talks about how an ala led to the Sacrarium Steps at Westminister Abbey as part of a wider discussion about the politics of her poetry. She was the first person of Pacific descent to graduate with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland, where she now lectures in creative writing and Māori and Pacific literary studies. Selina’s first collection of poems, Fast Talking PI, won the 2010 NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry. She was the Commonwealth Poet for 2016.

 

Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street

Bookings: Royal Wanganui Opera House

Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 

 

Moving Between Forms                                                                3.00 – 4.00pm

 

Novelist, short fiction writer, playwright and poet Fiona Farrell is well known for her versatility in moving between forms. In 2013, she was awarded the $100,000 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship to research and write twin books exploring post-quake Christchurch, one fiction and one non-fiction. The result was The Villa at the Edge of the Empire: One Hundred Ways to Read a City, a finalist in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.  Fiona has won many awards including the Prime Minister’s Award for fiction and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Literature in 2012. She will talk with Mary-Ann Ewing about her work in various forms and life after the fragmentation of the Christchurch earthquake.

 

Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre, Watt Street

Bookings: Royal Wanganui Opera House

Admission: $15 (Friends $12)

 

 

 

Cocktails and Canapes                                                                  5.30 – 7.00pm

 

Join our writers for a mix and mingle and enjoy conversations with other booklovers. Ticket price includes one drink plus food. Additional drinks available for purchase.

 

Venue: Mud Ducks Cafe, 31 Taupo Quay

Bookings: Royal Wanganui Opera House

Admission: $25

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